The mornings always seemed a rigorous chore for parents to get things rolling throughout the day. From pushing children to wake up early to preparing them for school, there was a different flair to it. Yes, we are talking about bygone days as the pandemic has got these things out of place, especially for parents and school-going children. The game has altogether changed. Now parenting in Vizag is more about closely monitoring their children’s online classes during the lockdown and thereon. With this, the perspective of the parents in understanding their children has changed a lot. For many, the mother-daughter bonding has become stronger. While few parents could see their children addicted to mobile phones, some of them could understand why they were addicted to phones. It was also a realization for many of the parents who were unable to handle their kids and understood the trauma teachers would face with 30 other kids.
With a shift in perspective, in an exclusive discussion with Yo! Vizag, parents talk about the experience of having children at home due to lockdown and how their parenting methods have changed due to that.
“With schools closed and no outdoor entertainment, I have been spending more time observing our twin daughters. Being able to spend quality time with them, my perspective towards them has completely changed,” said Renuka Devi Reddy, Psychologist and a mother of two children. Renuka made it a point that it is important to be taught how much one should be compassionate and encouraged more to follow traditional methods in a few aspects. “I thought there’s no life if she’s not an engineer or a doctor, but now I believe it’s ok if they become anything following their passion. I can strongly say that this pandemic threw a life-altering effect on all of the mothers and changed the perspective for us as a mother,” Renuka added.
Amulya from Vizag focussed on the other aspect of staying at home with children. “I found this pandemic taught my daughter how to help by doing little things at home like filling water bottles, setting the table for lunch and dinner, and arranging her clothes in the wardrobe. We are able to do constructive work every day. I read my book and she reads her book which has become a hobby for her,” she said. Making her learn how to enjoy even the little things, Amulya said she was able to make her daughter learn to enjoy nature, observe the growth of plants, and sit at the balcony interacting with her grandparents. “Life is quite peaceful with no busy schedules or appointments in a day. We could set our priorities as we like. Though there was a worry about her missing friends and family, I took it as a responsibility to ensure she makes video calls and talks to her friends and family,” Amulya added, highlighting the importance of keeping your children a healthy mental space during this lockdown.
For Usha who has a 6-year-old daughter, she was surprised with the things happening with her daughter. With the pandemic, her daughter who was in LKG in the first wave of the pandemic is now promoted to UKG. “We are lucky that we could witness our child’s new way of doing things every day at home. However, it gets quite annoying sometimes. These online classes have made children addicted to phones. Being kids, they were supposed to be outdoors, but unfortunately, they have been locked indoors. This has made them stay at home feeling bored,” Usha said. For Usha, engaging her child in activities all day is quite tough, but now she has found new and innovative ways to engage her five-year-old.
For Kavya, ever since her child grew to interact, the pandemic set foot in India, forcing them indoors. There were no parks, no kids’ activities in their neighborhood which meant her 4-year-old son couldn’t learn how to interact with kids his age. “Due to a lack of any play schools and activities outside, we were able to know how he misses interacting with other kids. He was unable to speak words which kids at that age usually speak, so we seriously made efforts to keep him engaged in small activities. Fortunately, his grandparents being at home helped him learn more things which we as kids were taught”, Kavya said.
Parenting is certainly a very difficult job and these lockdown stories from Vizag have shown how people have had to adopt a different approach to parenting in order to continue their children’s learning at home during these difficult times.